Leeds surveyor and architect, was born on 30 November 1862 at Woodhouse, Leeds, where his father, William Thackray, was a builder and contractor, who bought a disused quarry and a tract of land on Woodhouse Ridge and covered it with houses. Early supporters of the Woodhouse Mechanics Institute, John Thackray received part of his education there and also at the village’s St. Mark’s National School. He was appointed Assistant Building Surveyor to Leeds Corporation, 1887 to 1892, then for Sheffield, 1892 to 1895. He also taught construction at Bingley, Ossett and Pudsey. A Wesleyan Methodist, he served as society steward, chapel steward and treasurer. His practice was predominantly domestic and commercial, but in Leeds he was responsible for Trinity, Roundhay Road (1889) and Harehills Lane (1905) Wesleyan school-chapels.
Another family member and Methodist was Derek Linstrum (1925-1909) who after the war began working for the West Riding County Council Architects Office. Employed on restoring Bretton Hall for use as a teacher training college led to his developing an interest in conservation. From 1966 to 1971 he was senior lecturer at the Leeds School of Architecture, then in 1971 was Radcliff Reader and Director of Conservation Studies, University of York, finally from 1971 to 1973 being Professor of Architecture, University of Leeds. His researches resulted in a number of publications.